Forum:Some changes to some stuff

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Note: This topic has been unedited for 577 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

I was just thinking, what caused our user base to peak in 2008 and for it to plummet from then on. We are lucky to get a new user that actually sticks around for a period longer than 6 months once a month. So what has changed? And how can we fix it?

These are all very minor things, but could actual work:

  1. Change MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning. Right now it seems dull, automated and probably what is there by default. This needs to grab the anons attention and make them read it, putting particular emphasis on why they should create an account. Put it in big red bold flashing letters, make them want to do it.
  2. A restructuring of the welcome message, it shouldn't be paragraphs of text (even though they are short) they need to be quick and to the point. Tell them the literature (HTBFANJS, BGBU, etc) that needs to be read and tell them to not be afraid to dive straight in and have a go.
  3. Minimilising blocks on new comers, we seriously need to be more patient with them. Sarcastic block reasons do not help, they usually will just leave. Make blocks on new users that are trying but don't quite know what they are doing short and with a helpful block reason (eg Please read HTBFANJS over the next two hours and then try again.)
  4. Make the new user literature not so stupid, it is often misinterpreted as it is attempted to be made funny like the rest of the site, it needs to actually give facts and explain the rules in some level of coherent depth. For instance we get what Uncyclopedia:Beginner's Guide/Overview is getting across, but an outsider may not. We have to try and make it new user friendly.
  5. ICU policy change, to me the ICU tag gives the message your article fails hard, which is not what it's there for. It needs to incorporate some sort of encouragement in it as well. Maybe we could also benefit from showing the newbie how its done and fixing it (a little bit) for them so they see how its done.
  6. If a new user creates a forum asking a legit question, give a legit answer. Don't reply sarcasticly, in a riddle or go off topic. Help them damn it, so they think we care!

Can we please at least try implementing a few of these? They might actually work... ~Sir Frosty (Talk to me!) Icons-flag-au 11:24, August 1, 2012 (UTC)

I am absolutely for all of these things. Can we get some admins to agree? A (Ruins) 14:04, 1 August 2012
I am with you on biting the noobs. We've gotten a LOT better at fostering the skills of new users...but we could still be a little more relaxed and patient with them. Youre totally right Frosty. --ShabiDOO 01:16, August 2, 2012 (UTC)
Sounds great. I'm totally for the whole encouragement of noobies thing, regardless of how "inexperienced" (crappy) their initial edits may be. I remember how lame some of my first pages were out on the Illogicopedia. Perhaps additionally we could encourage them to introduce themselves somewhere? You know, build that whole "community" thing. Also I'd be down to brainstorm publicity ideas. I've been thinking about targeting writing forums, etc. It'd be good to get an organized effort going. --Something smells... FISHY. hmm... 04:50, August 2, 2012 (UTC)
Caustic, sarcastic, and unhelpful admins dominated our golden years. Just sayin'. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 04:22, August 3, 2012 (UTC)
Recently I have begun to realize that the ICU tag is probably very discouraging for many new users. I have started adding {{construction}} to pages that are obviously being worked on, instead of ICU. I encourage everyone to use {{construction}} (or {{WIP}}, they are the same). It has a 7 day deletion counter just like ICU, except the counter resets every time the page is edited. -- Brigadier General Sir Zombiebaron 04:50, August 3, 2012 (UTC)
I think it was the {{NRV}} tag that was discouraging. It was replaced by the ICU for maybe that very reason. --Lord Scofield Stark 13:25, August 3, 2012 (UTC)

Summing up?

We need more pointless tinkering with templates, complete disregard for newer 'active writing contributers' in the form of {{Fix}}, VFD etc. and more text in places that mostly unread or unneeded. lol--Sycamore (Talk) 16:02, August 2, 2012 (UTC)

Well it's not just that. Sure when you put it this way it sounds ridiculous but some of these ideas are worth a try. What do you think should be done then, eh? --Something smells... FISHY. hmm... 18:23, August 2, 2012 (UTC)
If you have a better way I'd like to hear it, because generally speaking you are the one that says we need to stop with being overly administrative and foster new users, I am making suggestions on how we can get new users to stay. But if you have something better, then by all means share. ~Sir Frosty (Talk to me!) Icons-flag-au 04:23, August 3, 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that I don't really think you can get people to stay on those terms - People come here because they like comedy, and if the doors open they might have a shot and decide they like it. It seems doubtful that any template can achieve such an outcome. As I’ve stated elsewhere, efforts that are conducive to new writers will be people behaving collaboratively to create new articles, not working in a small largely unproductive group that deletes these efforts. This negative viewpoint is arguably fostered by the crappy Fix/Construction tag changes a year ago and a moronic desire to keep VFD full of articles and crucially ‘voters’. Give it another year and we’ll be an online Detroit, sustained by the government and slowly abandoned.--Sycamore (Talk) 09:03, August 3, 2012 (UTC)
Adding a template that says we'll give you 7 days to finish this half finished article, then we'll give you 7 days to fix this failure of an article. ~Sir Frosty (Talk to me!) Icons-flag-au 04:40, August 4, 2012 (UTC)
Sycamore has a point, but I think its greatly exagerated. I sometimes read first time articles and then ancourage them on their talk pages. It probably has a very small effect, but might get a couple new writers a year out of it. Its a hard balance retaining writers and keeping away crap. I think the templates could be even more diplomatic, and when patrol writes them messages, that they aren't so harsh. I think that would take care of most issues here. --ShabiDOO 12:27, August 4, 2012 (UTC)
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